KITTY HAWK, N.C. (WAVY) - A once-missing fisherman in a kayak wants everyone to know he is OK after placing a call to 10 On Your Side this afternoon.
The U.S. Coast Guard says a kayak containing fishing gear was washed up on a beach in Kitty Hawk around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
A fishing license was found in the boat, and the name on the license read Matthew A. Cornelison, of Virginia Beach.
Within an hour after the story was posted on WAVY.com, Cornelison called WAVY TV 10 wanting everyone to know he is OK. The Coast Guard says it has discontinued its search.
"It happened on Sunday when I was out fishing in the kayak with my uncle. It tipped over and we took on water, so we had to swim into shore," Cornelison said.
So Cornelison and his uncle left the kayak and began swimming. The winds were blowing off shore, which created a bit of a challenge for the two men. Cornelison says they alternated swimming on their backs during the 2.5 hour swim back to shore.
"We're both pretty good swimmers, so we knew if we kept our cool, everything was going to be OK," Cornelison said.
When lifeguards picked up the two men and took a report of what happened, Cornelison and his uncle thought that was the end of the story.
"Two days later, we have news channels doing interviews and the Coast Guard sending out search rescue parties," Cornelison joked.
Kitty Hawk Fire Department, Med flight and search and rescue crews responded to the scene earlier. The Coast Guard launched a helicopter from Elizabeth City and a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Oregon Inlet. Virginia Beach fire and police officials were also involved in the search.
Cornelison heard about the search for him on TV while he was having breakfast at a vacation home on the Outer Banks.
"We've been getting calls from all of the country," Cornelison says. "No need to panic. Everything is OK."
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